• 24.09.2021
  • Thermal Systems
  • Media release

RUAG Space celebrates 30 years of space thermal protection

RUAG Space has been producing space thermal protection at its site in Austria for 30 years. Technology from RUAG Space protects more than 400 satellites in space from the heat and cold of the universe....

For 30 years, RUAG Space has been manufacturing space thermal protection for satellites at its site in Austria. “More than 400 satellites are currently in space, which our thermal dress protects from the heat and cold of the universe, averaging minus 200 and plus 200 degrees celsius,” says Anders Linder, Senior Vice President Satellites at RUAG Space. The thermal protection consists of several layers of metal-vaporized plastic films, each layer thinner than a hair.

Most European satellites protected
Thermal insulation from RUAG Space protects most European space satellites from the extreme temperatures in space, such as all of the more than 20 Galileo satellites currently in space, the “European GPS”. Thermal insulation from RUAG Space is also used in other international missions. For example, for the Mercury probe of the European-Japanese “BepiColombo” mission, which has been in space since October 2018, or the ESA/NASA sun mission “Solar Orbiter”.

Many products for growing commercial space market
For the growing commercial space market RUAG Space supplies thermal protection for swarms of small satellites, such as the constellation of the 322 OneWeb telecom satellites currently in orbit, which bring internet to remote regions such as the Arctic. RUAG Space also produced the thermal insulation for the constellation of the 80 Iridium NEXT telecom satellites.

First order in 1991
At the beginning of 1991, RUAG Space received its first order for satellite thermal protection for the four satellites of the “Cluster” mission of ESA and NASA (investigation of the Earth's magnetic field) as well as for the ESA/NASA “SOHO” solar observatory.

Insulation for medicine since 1993
Since 1993, thermal insulation from RUAG Space has also been used for insulation tasks in the field of low-temperature technology on Earth, for example in the medical sector (low-temperature insulation for magnetic resonance tomographs) or in the energy sector (insulation for liquid gas tanks). In addition, insulation is used in particle accelerators, for example at CERN in Geneva.

Insulation for launchers
In addition to heat protection for satellites, the company has also been developing and producing high-temperature insulation for rockets since 2017, for example for the new European launcher Ariane 6. The high-temperature insulation consists of glass ceramic and Kevlar, a heat-resistant synthetic fiber. “On the journey from Earth to space, our insulation has to withstand extreme heat of up to 1,700 degrees Celsius for a few minutes,” says Anders Linder. The new European Ariane 6 rocket is being built by ArianeGroup on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA).

About RUAG Space
RUAG Space is the leading supplier to the space industry in Europe, and has a growing presence in the United States. Around 1,300 employees across six countries (Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Germany, USA and Finland) develop and manufacture products for satellites and launch vehicles—for both the institutional and commercial space market. RUAG Space is part of RUAG International, a Swiss technology group, which is divided into four divisions: Space, Aerostructures, MRO International and Ammotec. Visit www.ruag.com/space, or view our RUAG Space product portfolio video: https://youtu.be/qNbSjUdlXxQ

Images
Picture 1: Gold-colored thermal insulation from RUAG Space for the European navigation satellite Galileo. Copyright: OHB. Download picture: https://www.ruag.com/system/files/media_document/2018-07/Bild%201%20Galileo-Formation_(c)_OHB-System-AG.JPG

Picture 2: The thermal protection for satellites is manufactured in Berndorf, Lower Austria. Copyright: RUAG Space, Martin Steiger. Download:
https://www.ruag.com/system/files/media_document/2019-09/Foto%204%20Produktionshalle%20Berndorf.jpg

Picture 3: The thermal insulation for satellites is manufactured in a clean room in Berndorf. Copyright: RUAG Space, Anna Rauchenberger. Download:
https://www.ruag.com/system/files/media_document/2021-09/Foto%202%20Weltraumthermalschutz%20N08A5493.jpg

Video footage
Animation of the Mercury probe BepiColombo (with silver-colored thermal protection from RUAG Space): http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/Videos/2018/12/BepiColombo_Status

Video about the production of thermal insulation at RUAG Space in Berndorf: https://youtu.be/V4cLAmmMSig

Video about the product portfolio of RUAG Space: https://youtu.be/qNbSjUdlXxQ

Video about the social benefit of RUAG Space products: https://youtu.be/gWRzl2ByvRA

Media contacts RUAG Space:
Philipp Bircher, Director Communication, Email: philipp.bircher@ruag.com, Tel.: +41 7979 011 81
Christian Thalmayr, Communication, Email: christian.thalmayr@ruag.com, Tel.: +43 1 801 99 2165
Web: www.ruag.com/space
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ruagspace

Media contact RUAG International:
Clemens Gähwiler, External Communication Manager, RUAG International; Tel. +41 76 319 28 58, clemens.gaehwiler@ruag.com